In the scripture passage about Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:26-40, notice the first thing the angel of the Lord says to Philip:GO. This key word (GO) describes the main theme of the entire book of Acts. The Gospel spreads when we GO. The possibility of sharing your faith or your testimony or praying with someone happens when we GO. The opportunity to make disciples happens when we GO. Now that doesn’t mean you and I have to go across the ocean or on a short-term missions trip. It doesn’t even mean you have to go very far at all. We are more ethnically diverse right here where we live, work & play than most of the rest of our entire country. It’s amazing that we can just walk down the street to have multiple opportunities to share the Gospel cross-culturally. Jesus said in Matthew 28:19 “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. We can do this right in our own neighborhood! Philip was able to explain the scriptures and share the Gospel with someone from another ethnic group and a totally different culture without ever leaving his homeland. You and I can do the same without even leaving our housing development. However… you will need to get out of your house and go meet your neighbors. You will need to go out. Then you could invite them back for a BBQ and to meet other neighbors. Bake some bread or cookies for them. Go help them when they’re outside working. Help them move in if you see the moving truck. Be a blessing.
The second key word is OBEY. The Gospel spreads when we OBEY. You don’t see Philip question the angel about what was supposed to happen if took this open-ended journey on the road to Gaza. You don’t hear him give excuses for what appeared to be a wild goose chase. You don’t hear him complain about having to leave his fruitful evangelistic ministry in Samaria. When he met up with the Ethiopian guy sitting in his chariot, you don’t see any signs of Philip being afraid to converse with this complete stranger who had a different skin color. He just obeys. Obedience to the Lord is more important than your personal welfare… your personal comfort… your personal success… or your personal desires. Obedience to the Lord is really our only priority. The Gospel spreads when we obey.
This whole meeting between Philip and the Ethiopian would’ve never happened if it wasn’t for the divine arrangements made by the Holy Spirit. This is clearly a Divine Appointment! The Spirit of God is all over this! And so we learn this lesson: the Gospel spreads when the Spirit directs Spirit-filled people. If we want to see the Kingdom advance through us it will happen when we Go… when we Obey… and when we are spirit-filled people being led by the Spirit. Spiritual work is done by the Spirit working in you and through you. You can’t do spiritual work in your own strength or in the flesh. You can only do spiritual work in the Spirit.
There’s no doubt that the Holy Spirit of God was moving in this Ethiopian guy before Philip even met him. The Spirit drew the man. TheSpirit awakened his spirit. The Spirit spoke to him through the prophet Isaiah. Then the Spirit sent Philip to explain not only the passage the man was reading, but as v35 reveals, Philip told him the good news about Jesus. The Gospel spreads when we share the Good News about Jesus. That might sound redundant or seem obvious, but what I mean is that we all have a responsibility to know how to share the Good News. You can Go… you can Obey… you can be Spirit-filled and directed by the Spirit… but you also have to be able to articulate and tell the Good News. You have to be able to explain it.
The Gospel spreads when we follow God’s plan! Let’s follow the plan and see the amazing work he will do!